The Justice Files: 2007 Cold case closed

Justice Files

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It appears someone may be getting away with murder.

That’s what a Salt Lake family claimed.

Their mother, Donna Nordgren was killed in a 2007 hit and run in South Salt Lake.

In 2018, police re-opened the case giving Nordgren’s daughters new hope.

“I was thinking that there was hope and that we might get justice for what someone did to my mom,” said Denise Penny, one of three daughters.

Prior to her death in 2007, Nordgren attended a funeral for her own mother. Afterward, a cousin took her out for a drink.

They went to a tavern in Murray. There Nordgren befriended two women who were sisters. Her cousin soon left the tavern but Nordgren remained.

According to the family, the trio left the tavern for another bar and continued drinking. Later, they stopped at a convenience store. Three hours later, Nordgren’s daughters learned she had been killed.

According to a 2007 search warrant, police had a person of interest. They requested DNA, fingerprints, and phone records. The woman was one of the sisters. She later asked for a lawyer and refused to cooperate.

The investigation went no where and remained unsolved.

But after the case was re-opened a new detective again targeted the same two women who were with Nordgren that night.

The detective talked with one of the sisters who were in prison. The sister told the detective they were very “intoxicated and doesn’t remember much.”

According to the detective’s report she told him her sister (driver)  “may have” kicked Nordgren out of the car because they “were walking.”  But she ”doesn’t remember her (sister) hitting (Nordgren) with the car.” 

The detective then tracked down the other sister who is accused of driving that night.  But in the detective’s report that sister denied doing anything wrong. She told him “No way (sister) would be able to live with herself,” had she done such a crime.

“That’s what’s heartbreaking because you have this outlook that you’re hopeful and you’re like ‘there’s no way this (charges) isn’t going to happen,” said Kellie Karren, the eldest daughter.  “These girls are going to get punished for what happened to our mom.”

And the new investigation also turned up another finding from the original 2007 investigation.  It also accused the sister who was allegedly driving.

A woman told the detective in the 2018 investigation that there was another woman who heard “they ran over the person, then again … because they wanted her dead or hurt real bad.”  The woman claimed the person who heard this information was shaken and distraught over the disturbing information.

“I’m infuriated knowing who did it, what happened,” said Corey Thompson who obtained the police report and spoke with the new detective.  “We finally got the details which is great.”

But then she learned something went wrong.  Friday, the investigation of Donna Nordgren’s death will continue. And what the sisters learned caused them to believe the driver got away with murder.

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